When I heard that there was a trailer out for the Ted Bundy biopic, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, this was not what I was initially expecting to see:
Now, if you go over to YouTube and read the comments under this trailer, you’ll see that there are a lot of people who are upset because they feel that the trailer portrays notorious serial killer Ted Bundy as being some sort of hero. While I can understand the concern, I think those people are missing the point.
Yes, the trailer portrays Bundy as being a smooth-talking sociopath who was apparently having the time of his life while killing women, escaping from jails, and fleeing the police. That’s largely because that’s the way that Bundy, in his interactions with others, tried to present himself. That doesn’t mean that the film itself is meant to excuse or make light of Bundy’s crimes. Here’s a statement from MW Film Studios, which was left underneath the film’s trailer:
Seems like a lot of people are missing the point. The reason why the trailer seems to painting him as some charismatic good guy is precisely because Ted Bundy was a very manipulative person who on the surface, one could believe was really that kind of person, but underneath that was someone cold and calculating. Like the person, the trailer is purposely misleading.
Given the fact that this film was directed by Joe Berlinger and any biopic of Ted Bundy would seem to be destined to end with him getting executed in Florida, I am more than willing to give this film the benefit of the doubt. Zac Efron’s appealing but somewhat blank prettiness would seem to make him the ideal pick for the role of Bundy. At the very least, I’ll wait for the initial reviews from Sundance before jumping to any conclusions about whether the film is properly anti-Bundy.
(Incidentally, Joe Berlinger not only directed this film but also Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, which is currently streaming on Netflix. Judging from the docu-series, I doubt Berlinger’s film is going to present Bundy as being anything other than evil and manipulative.)